By Jesica Slabbert – Apr 8, 2019Port Elizabeth – Returning with a vengeance, American triathlete Ben Hoffman made a show-stopping comeback, taking first place at the 2019 Standard Bank Ironman African Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday.There were nearly 2000 participants in this year’s Ironman African Championship lined up at Hobie Beach on Sunday morning, each hoping to cross the finish line and call themselves an Ironman. Thousands of spectators showed up to cheer on the athletes from early morning until midnight.Due to choppy conditions of the water, organisers for the Ironman African Championship decided to change up the route of the swim at the last minute, changing it from a 3.9km swim to a 1.6km swim.Ben Hoffman earns his third win for the African ChampionshipIt was a very crucial win for Hoffman as last year’s Ironman African Championship left him injured and unable to make the podium. This marks Hoffman’s third win for the Ironman African Championships and has earned him a spot to participate in the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.Hoffman had a significant lead in the run to the finish line where he was met by his pregnant wife with tears of joy. Coming in behind Hoffman was Nils Frommhold from Germany, followed by Michael Weiss from Austria.Matt Trautman from South Africa came in 8th position, making him the only professional male athlete from South Africa to make it into the top ten. Defending champion Kyle Buckingham was unable to complete the race due to an injury during the cycle leg of the triathlon.Women’s defending Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay earns second win This year was also a memorable win for Professional Women’s athlete and returning champion Lucy Charles-Barclay from the UK, as she cruised to the finish line, earning her second win in the Ironman African Championship.Lucy was the favourite to win and has been known to excel in the swim course in her Ironman events. She recently got married to professional athlete Reece Barclay in December after placing second in the Ironman World Championships in Kona in October.Coming in behind Lucy was Gurutze Frados from Germany, followed by Anna Watkinson from South Africa. This was Anna’s first time making the podium for the African Championship.To find more results for the 2019 Ironman African Championship, visit the Ironman website.See more images below.Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.